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SUPER BOOK|A slice of history

Set in the early 20th century, The Postmaster is the story of an ordinary postman who through his will and determination makes it big.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2005 23:36 IST

The Postmaster
Saad Ashraf
• Price — Rs 295
• Publication — Penguin

Set in the early 20th century, The Postmaster is the story of an ordinary postman who through his will and determination makes it big in government service, rising up the ranks steadily. And then he starts losing it all. It’s an interesting plot which Ashraf weaves around the protagonist Ghulam Rasool in the pre and post partition period.

Ashraf uses his style of humour and light-hearted narration to veil some deeper undercurrents prevalent in the society. The story unfolds in the background even as the reader is engrossed in Rasool’s changing character traits. With his ability to use just the right phrases at the right time, Ashraf has been successful in meshing comedy and tragedy together in this novel.

The Postmaster is also a covert critique of British rule in India. What seem like funny incidents in this well spaced out plot are in fact very serious objections to raised on the British rule in India. This is highlighted during the early part of the book. Rasool is struggling to make a career for himself and he undergoes a difficult time because he is an Indian and can’t achieve what he wants.

Moving from the alleys of Old Delhi to post Partition Pakistan, this book encompasses a vast expanse of circumstances, situations and emotions. The love angle in the novel is also interesting as it clearly raises some pertinent communal questions that are still very much prevalent in our society.

All in all, The Postmaster is a light read, funny and ironic at the same time and a great eye-opener too. A must read for all ignorant Indians who want an emotive slice of history of their country.

First Published: Oct 29, 2005 23:36 IST